The Government of Quebec, through senior Minister Isabelle Charest, has authorized on Wednesday the official opening of golf courses starting on May 20.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the Quebec Golf Industry Standing Committee, a lobbying group including main institutional and facility stakeholders in the province, had initiated discussions with Public Health authorities in view of creating standardized operating procedures, resulting in a protocol for operators and golfers that would allow the sport to resume its activities. This protocol, which focuses on the health and safety of patrons and employees, has received Public Health approval and can now be deployed at the facility level. All golf facilities in Quebec have had the opportunity to review this protocol and are now working towards implementing the recommended guidelines as they prepare to welcome golfers on May 20.
With this announcement, golf courses will be allowed to make their playing facilities accessible to their eager clientele – albeit under close supervision and rigourous monitoring from course operators.
Ongoing industry and government discussions throughout the lockdown have established that the practice of golf procures mental and physical health benefits to its participants. The utmost cooperation of golfers will be essential in order to apply the prescribed guidelines that are being implemented province-wide following the announcement.
Quebec golfers that are members of Golf Canada will be able to resume the tracking of their handicap and scores through the national association’s online and mobile scoring tools as Golf Canada recently issued updated guidance regarding COVID-19 Rules of Golf & Rules of Handicapping
The Quebec Golf Industry Standing Committee is eager to demonstrate that the return of the game of golf will contribute greatly to another of the government’s objectives, which is to get workers back to work and help local economies recover.
“Golf has a great opportunity to be a leader in the sport. We are going to operate according to the criteria established by the provincial health and safety authorities so that the green light stays in place, ”said Dominic Racine, General Manager of the PGA of Quebec, who chaired the golf industry committee in its efforts.
The golf industry in Quebec is estimated to contribute 52,000 jobs and add $2.4 billion annually to the gross domestic product of the Belle Province.